Location: Chimacum, WA Sunset Zone 5, USDA Zone 8B
posted 5 years ago
Salutations to all. I'm Brian H. I'm 28, living in Coupeville, WA which is a dry Zone 8B. Coupeville is in a rain shadow and only averages only 8 inches of rain per year, comparable to a cooler Arizona. We rent 1 acre of 1/3 grass yard, 1/3 Blackberries, and 1/3 mixed Snowberries/Nooka Rose with a few ancient fruittrees (2 different types of apple , 3 different types of plum, and 1 poisonous Horse Chestnut) scattered about.
I've done some loose studying of Permaculture, but I am new to the functional side, as well as new to Permies.com. I have learned SO much in my last week of reading/lurking.
Underneith the shade of one of the plum trees, I'm hoping to make a small (20'x20') Permaculture plot with native berries, edible ferns, and some other things. So far I have ripped up the invasive blackberries from the patch. I then used my chipper/shredder to make a several inch thick mixed mulch layer of wood (rose, apple, plum, fir, and alder), leaves/needles (previous + various ornimental shrubs, garden wastes, and green blackberry shoots), and dried blackberry cane. I've also mixed in a bit of compost, with plenty of red wriggler worms. I plan on innoculating the mulch layer with Oyster Mushrooms for both soil building and potential sale/barter (I hate mushrooms myself).
We also plan on making a full-sun permaculture patch as well but not sure what to grow there.
Anyways, we have several cuttings from Everygreen Huckleberry that I'd like to get to take root better/easier. Does anyone have any suggestions on ways to do that in a safe, effective way? I found some "rooting powder" but it sounds like very nasty stuff (suggests full resporator, smock, and protective gloves).
Take a short drive to your wetter neighbours and get ahold of willow and/or poplar cuttings. Chop up and soak the cuttings for a few days. This tea will root most any cutting...
You will want to plant in an acidic (4.5-5.5) sandy loam. Course sand mixed with peat moss, well rotted conifer needles and leave mold should work very well. Be sure to innoculate the soil and new roots with ericoid mycorrhiza...
Be aware that huckleberry plants grow extremely slow. With your dry climate; probably even slower. Here on the south coast of Oregon; it is about 10~15 years before you'll have much of a berry producing bush.